Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week – April 16-22, 2012: Eight of Swords

Intellect takes us along in the battle of life to a certain limit, but at the crucial moment it fails us. Faith transcends reason. It is when the horizon is the darkest and human reason is beaten down to the ground that faith shines brightest and comes to our rescue.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

This week, we receive, for only the third time ever, a visit from the Eight of Swords. This is a card that, at first, is rather disturbing, for here is the damsel in distress, trapped, surrounded by swords, blindfolded and helpless. But, as is so often the case in the Tarot, this is a card that beckons us to take a closer look.

For is she, in fact, so helpless? Where are her attackers? Of what or whom is she at the mercy?

There are no enemies to be seen.  It would seem instead she is simply ringed by eight swords. Eights are about organizing, expansion, and how we overcome challenges to move forward.  And the Swords are the suit of air, thought, and vision.

With her blindfold, and hemmed in by the swords, it would seem that intellect, ideas, perception, and opinion prevent her from taking action.  Procrastination, perfectionism, or victim-thinking may be in play here.

Because after all, as distressed as she seems, is she actually lost in some trackless wilderness? No, it appears that safety and shelter are quite nearby, as you can see by the castle in the distance.

Is she on the edge of some precipice or about to be swept off by roaring wind or waves?

No. The sea, or maybe a lake, is off in the distance, but near her there are only shallow, remarkably tame puddles, and the land is flat and nonthreatening.

Are her legs and feet tied? Is she truly unable to move? It would seem not. Her only challenges are her bound arms, and her blindfold.  It might not be easy, but she could simply walk away.

What do we believe binds us to our own unhappiness?  In what ways might we fear we are doomed?  What guru, lover, savior, healer, or leader do we wait (and wait, and wait) for, to sweep us away from our current circumstances? What triggers our thinking that we are stuck and helpless?

What we can see, that she cannot, is that the swords are no threat.

From behind, they form a protective semicircle. And before her, as intimidating as it might seem, the one sword that stands alone could help her cut her bonds. Her liberation is only a few paces away, if she could just trust herself to walk forward and find it.

How often is this the case in our own lives?

We fear the universe is out to get us; that we are surrounded by enemies or some dark fate about to destroy us.  We give up on our dreams, struggle with “analysis paralysis,” and stay stuck in our self-pity and blindness, rather than risk the discomfort of change, autonomy, and the unknown.

Whether we choose not to see, or whether we have indeed fallen prey to misdeeds, deception, or even co-dependence, there is, in truth, absolutely no reason not to change whatever our unhappy circumstances might be…except that we so strongly believe in the reality of our prison.

This week as the Moon wanes in Aries and then the Sun and New Moon move into earthy Taurus, let us make a new start. It’s a great time to take stock of what holds us in check. In what ways do we feel thwarted from our desires, goals, or ability to be authentic and free?

It may be true that there are barriers, but are you so helpless, really? What hesitation, fear, or illusion is acting as your blindfold?

We might need to invoke the greater Eight of the Major Arcana, Strength, to help us take the needed steps forward.

When all our smart strategies, plans, intellectualizing, and arguments fail us, it is time to dig deep for our faith. Real courage may be needed, but it is time to walk free from a bad situation.  Insisting that we are stuck makes it so. The antidote is to act.

We do not need to be rescued, for we are as free as we choose to be.

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  • April 16, 2012, 10:44 am jamye

    Beautiful & powerful, Beth. Thank you!

  • April 16, 2012, 11:27 am Acquafortis

    Thank you! Just in time.

  • April 16, 2012, 11:52 am Maria

    I really needed to hear this today! Thank you!

  • April 16, 2012, 12:18 pm Beth

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  • April 16, 2012, 12:33 pm Natalia

    Wow. This was the 2nd “forecast” I got today, the first was The Fool. Put these 2 together and its exactly what I needed to hear today.

  • April 16, 2012, 3:14 pm mel

    hmm interesting. another ‘sword’ week. Last week was peaceful no conflict, just finishing tasks requiring determination and focus I guess I was the Knight of Swords 🙂 I’ll see what unfolds this week. thanks for insight Beth and I hope you have a good week 🙂

  • April 16, 2012, 6:26 pm Beth

    Thanks, Mel! You too, and everyone here!

  • April 16, 2012, 8:31 pm Belinda

    As soon as I saw this I thought – Hmm – trapped by decisions.
    I really loved the way you opened up the card and showed all the scenarios and possibilities. I feel this is a good one for me to sit up and take notice of 🙂 Thanks Beth

  • April 17, 2012, 8:43 am Tracey

    Wow! This seems to be everything i’m going through, am really trying to change my thinking and connect to source the last few weeks, sometimes it’s so clear and other times it gets a bit confusing, Thank you for this, btw Love your site. xoxo

  • April 17, 2012, 5:03 pm Mepanie

    This is a card that makes me cringe, at first, then as you so eloquently put it, shows me how I am the only one keeping me trapped! What a beautiful card it really is. No more excuses. It’s time to take control and remove the blindfold and the bonds that inhibit me from fulfilling my destiny! Because the knight in shining armor has his own agenda

  • April 18, 2012, 9:59 am Beth

    YES! Beautiful!!

  • April 20, 2012, 9:18 am Tracie

    “Procrastination, perfectionism, or victim-thinking may be in play here”. Written just for ME & talk about SYNCHRONICITY!!

    I’ve been struggling to get some major repairs done on our home which our builder botched & I just can’t seem to get started. The money is available but my heart isn’t in it. This topic came up yesterday TWICE so I told myself I needed to start dealing w/ this but I just groaned – I don’t want to, I don’t trust anyone!!

    Today I woke up before my alarm at 5:55, my 1st thought “today I will get messages-pay attention”. Another blog I read has a Tarot of the Day & she listed a 2nd card late yesterday, which is unusual, but didn’t see it until today-8 of swords; her msg was similar & I told myself “yea yea I hear ya I can do anything-meh whatever”. Then it got me thinking about lunch I’m having w/ a friend today & I haven’t told her my owl story (2 owls within 4 days coming at me), thinking of owls made me think of you and I thought “I wonder if Beth &/or her owls have a msg for me today” so I popped in here & I saw your Card for the week-8 of Swords! Same card & it’s as if you were writing just to me-TADA!!!!!

    WHAT AM I WAITING FOR? My hands aren’t bound, the water is shallow. The real enemy is my mind, I’m the definition of “analysis paralysis” I overthink to the point of FEAR!

    Oh Beth THANK YOU to you & your owls for my message! HUGS!!!